Card of the Day: 2003 Topps Gallery Hall of Fame Edition Warren Spahn autograph

2003toppsgallerywarrenspahnautoThis was the auto hit that I pulled the other day from my hobby box of 2003 Topps Gallery Hall of Fame Edition. I intended to post the image on that day, but after spending six hours in front of this computer blogging and doing live breaks of three hobby boxes, I felt I needed a break. Anyhow, I also wanted to discuss this card a bit because it is somewhat significant; a single image would not be enough.

The first thing you’ll notice about this card is the fact that Spahn’s signature is so small. Spahn autographs are not all that rare, although I did not own one until I snagged this, and many of them look better than this one. But what’s interesting about this card is that it is one of the last on-card signatures of Spahn offered by card companies.

This card was released in April 2003, according to Beckett Almanac — the near 1,500-page annual monster — seven months before Spahn died of natural causes at age 82. It is one of only four on-card Spahn autographs offered in 2003; the others were Topps All-Time Favorites (released in May),  Topps Retired Signatures (July) and SP Legendary Cuts (December — just weeks after his death.) There are two other basic Spahn autos released that year, but they are sticker ‘graphs.

When it comes to deceased players, the on-card autographs always make the card seem more significant — and valuable — to me. Perhaps that is why I hate sticker graphs. In Spahn’s case, he signed a bunch of stickers for Donruss (DLP-Donruss, Leaf, Playoff) – before his death, some of them appear on 2003 cards. And in 2004 AND 2005, DLP released in limited quantities Spahn sticker autographs in several sets. Freakin’ ridiculous.

One Response to “Card of the Day: 2003 Topps Gallery Hall of Fame Edition Warren Spahn autograph”

  1. I use to have the orignial Warren Spawn cards. Unfortunately, my mother was part of the conspiracy of mothers that threw the cards out when we went away to college. Two Shoeboxes full of early Topps: 1954 to about 1967. Mickey Mantles by the dozen!!!, Warren Spawn, Ernie Banks, Yogi Berra, Willie Mays..I gotta stop, I’m starting to cry…..Here’s a way I might get them back…

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